The Letchworth-based company which created the iconic Raleigh Chopper bike, and Luke Skywalker's 'landspeeder' from the Star Wars franchise, is celebrating its 70th anniversary.

Established by David Ogle in 1954, Ogle Models and Prototypes first partnered with Bush Radio to design a transistor radio and a record player.

In 1962, after Ogle's tragic death in a car accident, renowned designer Tom Karen took the reigns as managing director.

Director Philip Martin, who has headed up the business since 2018, said: "Tom, who was associated with so many iconic designs, was an inherent part of our history and helped set us on the path we continue to follow.

"One of the most important things about Ogle is our ability to move with the times and stay ahead of changes in the industry.

“My father Len, who joined the business in 1975 as a patternmaker, eventually took over from Tom as managing director in 2000.

"From the start, he was involved in transforming the business from a design company to a model and prototyping business."

The firm has consistently led in modelmaking and prototyping, utilising technology for highly accurate models that supersede 2D-drawing interpretations.

Today, the company's focus has shifted somewhat.

It's now exploring the realm of portable EV chargers, from an investigation into electric vehicles which began as far back as 1960.

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Mr Martin added: "We have had the opportunity to work across many industries from medical to films and aerospace to marine, but we have a remarkable long association with the automotive sector.

"One of our most famous designs was the Bond Bug for Reliant, but we have also worked with other leading names, creating everything from small production components to full scale models.

"It is extraordinary to think that the business has been established as long as it has.

“We are incredibly privileged to have worked with so many amazing clients over the past 70 years, pushing our capabilities and allowing us to evolve and help shape the future of prototyping - and we will always have one eye on the future."